We’re rounding up the usual suspects for the Preakness

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I have five top movies of all time and at the top of my list is “Casablanca” with maybe the best cast of characters of all time, Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Claude Rains, Peter Lorre and one of my all time favorites Sydney Greenstreet.

This is one of those movies you can watch over and over, and it had so many great lines:

1 “Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world she walks into mine.”

2. “We’ll always have Paris.”

3. “Play it again Sam, play ‘As Time Goes By.’”

4. “Here’s looking at you, Kid.”

And my all time favorite:

5. “Round up the usual suspects.”

The Preakness is this Saturday and sometimes it is just a good thing to get out of town with the usual suspects and take a little drive, especially if you want to play a little golf, bet the ponies, make some sports bets or just sit by the pool after a great meal.

I suggest taking the short 81 mile drive up I-15 to Mesquite, home of the Casablanca and their sister property Virgin River. Both have great restaurants plus race and sportsbooks that are independent so you may find a different line or two.

At the Casablanca there’s Katherine’s Steakhouse that’s as good as any place in Vegas. The golf courses are great along with the pools and great service.

If you are going to play the Preakness my suggestion is take the little drive and catch Jerry Jacovitz author of Jerry’s Power Page. He’ll be at the Virgin River racebook this Friday doing a free seminar at 11:30 a.m. Jerry will be covering the Preakness and offer an in depth look on how to incorporate his power page into your own handicapping. Tell him Richard sent you and he will give you a free play at the seminar.

Without knowing the weather, the draw or how many will show up we will just take a little look at the Preakness.

There could be a field of nine runners looking to pick up place money unless something unforeseen happens with the odds-on choice Justify. The one thing this handicapper can envision is how much longer Baffert pushes this 3yo colt as he will be making his 5th start in less than three months having broken his maiden on Feb. 18.

This will be his straight Grade 1 race. The main danger will come from Good Magic who finished second behind Justify on the slop in the Kentucky Derby after making a nice run at him down the lane; a fast track could help his chances. If Good Magic goes, this will be a two-horse slugfest.

Others likely to run look to be Bravazo and his stablemate Sporting Chance, both trained by D. Wayne Lukas. Neither have a shot. John Servis sends out the speedy Diamond King who if he tries to run with Justify will be cooked. Lone Sailor, trained by our good friend and all around nice guy Tom Amoss, is a deep closer. He could be flying late for a piece of the pie on a fast track.

Trainer Todd (I just gotta be there) Pletcher sends out a horse by the name of Pony Up who was just a neck behind Blended Citizen – a horse Jerry J liked in his GamingToday write ups after winning the Peter Pan Stakes this past Saturday.

Quip, who finished second in the Arkansas Derby, is trained by Rodolphe Brisset, who was Bill Mott’s assistant before going out on his own. This horse also won the Tampa Bay Derby and has the ability to sit off the pace. He can be used in the exotics.

Trainer Steve Asmussen sends out the lightly raced Tenfold who was four lengths behind Quip in the Arkansas Derby.

That is the prospective field and we say if Good Magic goes his trainer Chad Brown must think he can win. We will play the exacta box and a trifecta, keying on Justify and Good Magic. As horse players we would love to see a rematch of the Kentucky Derby 1-2 finishers in hopes of an Affirmed/Alydar rivalry.

Play of the Week: Last week’s play was scratched so no harm, no foul. We will go to the key 5th race on Thursday’s card, the last leg of the early pick five, the early pick four and the first leg of the late pick four. We get $75K optional claimers going down the hillside turf course hoping the rain is long gone.

No. 7 Move Over just missed last out going a mile on the grass in the $100K Singletary and now gets back to springing down the hill where he just missed by a dwindling head one race back; he is a single today.

So take that 81 mile trip on 1-15, see the Jerry J free seminar at the Virgin River. You could be walking around lucky and not even know it.

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